By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
Just in case you need a distraction from all the horrible things about #45 and his Russian associates, don’t forget about what’s going on back here at home. There’re days when you think things can’t get worse—but they do. We’ve just witnessed several days of the embarrassment of #45 selling out our country on behalf of Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, let’s check out Selma, Alabama. This case is as though we’ve gone back to the 1960’s when Amelia Boynton, John Lewis, James Orange, Jimmie Lee Jackson and so many others who were struggling at great risk and in great danger to gain the right to vote for Black people.
Just when Alabama, or should I say when Black women, elected Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate, and we were led to believe we might be making progress, along comes this egregious case where police officers arrested our dear sister, a leading attorney advocate for justice, Faya Rose Toure (aka Rose Sanders). Not only did the police arrest her but they left her 11-year old granddaughter who was with her on the street unaccompanied, while denying her the opportunity to make a call to have someone pick up the child. That’s child abuse and neglect on the part of the police. Somebody should be held accountable for that.
Faya Rose is a world-renowned soldier in this fight against injustice, and what was her crime? After seeing so many political signs of Black candidates being taken down while leaving the signs of white candidates up, Faya Rose decided to take one down that was illegally placed in front of Tabernacle Baptist Church. With the civil rights record of that church, it was an insult for anyone to have placed it there in the first place.
With all the pain and suffering that went into that well-known ‘Selma to Montgomery March’ seeking voting rights for all, and the church in question playing a pivotal role in the action, the sign that was placed at the church was an obvious effort at agitation to the Black members of the church.
Faya Rose decided to remove it and 9 Selma cops swooped down on her as if the attack on her had been planned in advance. To add insult to injury, she was charged with shoplifting! She was hustled off to jail and held for a $2,000.00 CASH bond. Never mind that Faya Rose lives in Selma, has deep roots there, and has a husband in the Alabama Senate. It was not at all likely she was going to try to skip town!
In typical Faya Rose fashion, she didn’t allow the authorities to intimidate her. She refused to pay and remained in jail. Initially, her husband, a well known state senator, Hank Sanders, was not even permitted to see her.
Her arrest prevented her from voting which may have been the purpose of arresting her. Her husband reported that she has now been released from jail. While Selma officials withdrew the $2,000.00 cash bond requirement, she’s still facing trumped up charges that would never have been made against anyone else under similar circumstances.
While she was in jail, she was still fighting for justice—something she does wherever she is. She was able to assist 3 women in getting out of jail. As soon as she was released, she was on the road fighting for justice for all again!
Don’t allow her case to slip through the cracks as just a small matter. It’s an indication of what is to come to prevent Black folks from voting. Don’t be one of those who allows the forces of evil to be successful.
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National President of the National Congress of Black Women (www.nationalcongressbw.org) and radio host of “Wake Up and Stay Woke” on WPFW-FM 89.3 in Washington, DC.